How to Use a Coleman Propane Grill: The Complete Guide

The smell of meat sizzling on the grill is a sure sign of summer. But heating up your trusty Coleman propane grill after a season in storage can feel daunting. How do the knobs and switches work again? What’s the best way to clean the dusty grates? Relax – we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know to fire up that grill like a pro.

In this guide, we’ll provide a simple step-by-step process to refresh your memory on prepping, lighting, grill mastering, and shutting down your Coleman grill. With a few quick tips, you’ll be flipping burgers and seamlessly regulating the temperature like you’ve been barbecuing all year long.

We’ll walk through safely connecting the propane, getting the perfect starter flame, troubleshooting any issues, and cleaning once the party ends. No matter how long it’s been since you last used your Coleman grill, these instructions will have you covered in no time. The only thing missing will be the sunscreen and flip flops!

So get ready to brush off those grilling skills and bring on a summer of backyard barbecue magic. Our guide will jog your memory on using your Coleman grill safely and easily. Those hot dogs and chicken wings won’t know what hit them. Let’s get cooking!

Prep Your Coleman Grill

Before lighting the grill, do a quick prep session:

  • Wipe down exterior surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust.
  • Check that propane tank is filled, connected securely, and valve turned off.
  • Inspect burners, igniter, and grease tray for any obstructions or debris.
  • Clean grates thoroughly with a grill brush and scraper.
  • For very dirty grates, do a deep clean by boiling water with baking soda directly on grates.

Proper prep prevents potential propane or ignition issues down the line.

Connect the Propane Tank

Securely connecting the Coleman grill to the propane source is a critical first step:

  • Use only certified propane tanks (20 lb. capacity is typical). Never exceed tank’s capacity.
  • Check tank visually for dents, rust, or other damage before attaching.
  • Screw propane tank into adapter located on lower grill cabinet. Turn clockwise until very tight.
  • Always connect grill in an outdoor, well-ventilated area away from ignitable materials.
  • Ensure valve on propane tank is turned fully off before connecting.

With tank firmly connected, you’re ready to ignite the grill.

Ignite the Burners

Coleman grills allow matchless ignition of the burners:

  • Open the lid of the grill before igniting.
  • Push in and turn burner knobs counter-clockwise to “High” position.
  • Press and hold electronic ignition button until burners light (up to 5 seconds).
  • If ignition fails, turn knobs off and wait 5 minutes before re-attempting.
  • If burners still fail to ignite, light with a grill lighter by placing through the side lighter hole.

Once burners are lit, close lid for warmup. Keep lid closed as much as possible for optimal heat circulation.

Troubleshoot Ignition Issues

If your Coleman grill won’t light:

  • Check propane tank connection and open valve.
  • Look for blockage in burners. Use a pipe cleaner to clear.
  • Assess electronic igniter battery. Replace annually or as needed.
  • Try alternative ignition source like lighter cube.
  • Reset burner knobs to “Off” and wait 1 minute before re-attempting ignition.
  • If issues persist, consult the Coleman grill manual for further troubleshooting tips.

A bit of trial and error combined with the manual guidance will solve most ignition issues.

Get Your Grill On

Once lit and warmed up, you’re ready for grilling:

  • Use knobs to adjust flame to desired cooking temperature. Coleman lids have built-in thermometers.
  • Allow thicker cuts of meat or larger food items extra warmup time.
  • Flip food at the halfway point using tongs or spatula.
  • For flare-ups, move food temporarily to unused burner area.
  • Arrange food strategically so similar cook times are grouped together.
  • Keep lid closed as much as possible and don’t peek excessively!

Let the Coleman work its magic! Monitor periodically until food is cooked through.

Regulate the Temperature

The art of grilling involves maintaining proper temperature zones. To regulate your Coleman grill:

  • Use knobs to set burners to different heat intensities – high, medium and low.
  • Flare-ups cause spikes in temp. Move food away temporarily if needed.
  • Lower temp if food is cooking too quickly or burning.
  • If cooking is too slow, increase temp intensity.
  • Shut burners off incrementally as you finish grilling items.

Practice makes perfect when learning to tweak grill temperatures for optimum cooking.

Time to Clean Up

After cooking the final item, start your Coleman grill cooldown:

  • Use grill brush to scrub grates clean of any food debris after cooking.
  • Empty and dispose of grease drip tray contents.
  • Replace grease tray under grill. Close lid once empty to suffocate any lingering embers.
  • Fully shut off propane tank valve and disconnect tank once grill is cold.
  • Wipe down surfaces and store propane tank properly.
  • Perform occasional deep cleans by boiling water and baking soda directly on grates.

Safe shutdown and cleaning extends your Coleman grill’s lifespan.

Key Coleman Grill Safety Tips

Adhere to these additional safety measures when operating your propane grill:

  • Position grill at least 10 feet away from siding, fences, trees or shrubbery.
  • Do not leave grill unattended when lit.
  • Keep children and pets away from hot grill. Never move a lit grill.
  • Do not use grill indoors or in unventilated areas.
  • Check for propane leaks on connection points periodically using soapy water test.
  • Always close propane tank valve fully after use and detach from grill after cooling.

Apply caution and common sense when cooking on your Coleman to prevent accidents.


How do I know if my propane tank is empty or full?

Check the gas level indicator on the tank. The float will rise when full and lower as gas is used. You can also weigh the tank – a full 20 lb. tank weighs about 38 lbs. total.

What temperature should I cook meat at on a Coleman grill?

Use medium-high heat, 350-450°F for steaks and chops. Cook chicken parts and thighs at 350°F. Burgers and hot dogs can be cooked at medium heat around 325°F.

My grill won’t light. What should I check?

Make sure the propane tank is screwed on tightly, valve is open, connections are leak-free, burner tubes aren’t clogged, and electronic igniter battery is fresh. Review troubleshooting tips in owner’s manual.

Is it safe to grill meat on aluminum foil?

Yes, foil is safe for grilling. Tent foil to avoid overcooking food. Avoid letting foil touch flames directly. Don’t let drippings accumulate under foil.

How often should I deep clean my Coleman grill?

Do a thorough deep cleaning of the full grill 2-3 times per grilling season. Clean grates after each use. Deep clean by boiling water and baking soda solution on hot grill, then scrubbing.

Now you’re ready to grill like a pro on your trusty Coleman! Follow this guide to seamlessly prep, ignite, cook, troubleshoot and clean after use. Before you know it, your Coleman will be a well-oiled grilling machine cranking out mouthwatering meals all summer long. Get outside and get grilling!

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